Salvation Army Gift Distribution
This past Wednesday, members of HLTA’s Oahu Chapter joined myself and my staff, to once again help Salvation Army distribute gifts through their Angel Tree Program to those in need.
While we work with the Salvation Army on other projects, such as their signature holiday Bell-ringing (earlier this month), this is a uniquely heartwarming experience. It is a privilege to see firsthand the selfless work that the Salvation Army and its Volunteer Corps put in, to truly make this the season of giving.
Mahalo to all our volunteers! We look forward to extending our support again next year.
Mahalo Members - Holiday Parties
December always marks my favorite time of year. Ask anyone that knows me: they would tell you that I am one of the the biggest fans of Christmas around. Of course, coupled with the festivities comes holiday parties, many of which our jovial members host.
Over the last few weeks I had the joy of attending parties hosted by Pacific Guardian Life, Securitas, and our very own Hospitality Housekeeping Council, to name a few. Mahalo to Board members Carol Shimomura, Vice President of Employee Benefit Sales for Pacific Guardian Life and Securitas Area Vice President Sanj Sappal for their annual holiday party invites which were appropriately held at Oahu Country Club and Waialae Country Club. Additionally, I would like to send a big shout-out to our Hospitality Housekeeping Council Chair, Hao Dang Tanacsos, and the HHC board for throwing a stellar Christmas gathering at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach’s Voyager Club.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana
We are just three weeks away from one off our biggest events of the year: Thursday, January 10th will be our 29th Annual Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards! In case you missed the announcement made earlier this week, you can find the list of all the finalists here. If you still need to buy your tables, not to worry – registration is still open, so make sure you buy them now, via this link.
This luncheon is such a special event, and a great way to honor the tremendous efforts of those who make our hospitality industry no ka oi. I look forward to seeing you there.
Waikiki Resort Bringing the Holiday Cheer
We are always happy to have visitors at the HLTA office, and were pleased to have a surprise visit yesterday afternoon. Our HLTA Chairperson, Glenn Vergara, and his Waikiki Resort Hotel ohana stopped in to wish us a Merry Christmas. Mahalo for all that you do, and especially for visiting us.
As we head into the holiday weekend, I would like to wish everyone a Mele Kalikimaka!
Meeting with Marriott International's Executive Team
Yesterday afternoon, I joined the Marriott International leadership team to speak on HLTA’s and the visitor industry’s legislative priorities. Marriott International Area Vice President (Hawai‘i & French Polynesia) Harris Chan, and newly appointed Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President, Chris Tatum, were accompanied by Marriott General Managers and key executives from across the state for one of their annual executive meetings. During my presentation, I covered our key priorities: from the regulation of transient vacation rentals at the county level, to the implementation of an airports corporation, defending against transient accommodations taxes on resort fees, and our homelessness and public safety initiatives.
Additionally, I covered the hot topic of “overtourism,” a term that has been coined by many to describe the increasing number of tourists that are visiting destinations throughout the world - resulting, in many instances, in draconian measures aimed at halting tourism.
We should view and deal with “ overtourism" by keeping the following three points in mind:
1. It is not enough to simply focus on marketing tourism - we need to be equally concerned about managing tourism better;
2. We, as a state, should be targeting quality tourism rather than focusing strictly on quantity tourism;
3. We, as an industry, need to be at the table when such discussions are held so that we can help guide these community deliberations in a thoughtful and measured manner.
As I have stated repeatedly, major kudos to Kaua‘i and Maui, through the hard work of our HLTA Chapters, county government, and industry partners, in developing Tourism Strategic Plans to address this issue.
If there are any organizations or businesses within the HLTA membership that would like me to present our legislative priorities and advocacy efforts, on behalf of our industry, to your team, please contact my Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs, Jared Higashi, at email@example.com.
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